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Fish Executive
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Some guy on aquahobby.com said that they keep their convicts, firemouths,oscars and various other cichlids in brakish to slightly marine water. He says that they are less prone to catching diseases and are a lot happier with salt in their water.
I said to him that salty water is no where near to the kind of water that they are used to in the wild. But he said that if you aclimatize them over a period of time then they will adapt and live alot healthier lifestile.
I tried to put some marine salt in my oscar tank but within minutes started to scratch their bodies on the rocks and some of the were gasping at the surface. I did a 50% water change as soon as possible.
Do any of you guys keep your cichlids in brakish or marine tanks? or is this guy just pulling my leg?
 

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My brother in law was just talking about this last weekend (as I had mentioned wanted to get a cichlid for my new 30gal) he mentioned he keeps his in brackish water.

I'm new to the hobby, so I cannot confirm or deny the acceptability of this. But he's had his fish for quite some time now.
 

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Salt actually aggravates the fish's skin. What this does is make the fish produce more slime. More slime means that parasites seem to have less of a chance to attack the fish. However, this means you're constantly aggravating the skin. This really isn't good in the long run.
There are a few cichlids that come from naturally brackish areas (chromides for example). But these are the exception and not the rule. I know many people believe adding salt is good for fish. Salt is only good for fish that are from areas that have salt in their water (salt/brackish fish). I have a larger explanation somewhere in my files from Mary Bailey I believe. I'll try and find it tonight and post it.
 

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Some cichlids do live in brackish environments, but certainly not the ones you mentioned! (Some species of Hemichromis are sometimes found in brackish estuaries...) I have recently read a post on another forum about a store that acclimated SW fish and Malawi cichlids to BW and was keeping them together. I definately do not advise this, it only stresses the fish and shortens they're lifespan. If BW/SW environments were healthier for them, that's where they'd be found in nature.
 

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.Amphilophus uropthalmus and Veija maculicauda are both found regularly in brackish and saltwater.I'm sure there are a few other CA cichlids that are as well.That being said,I would never keep any of my CA's in saltwater.I do add a SMALL amount of  Seachems Cental American Cichlid Salt to my tanks and have done very well with it,but saltwater;ahh no! I know more then a few people who keep Mollies  in saltwater with great success though,so I guess you could try,but for cichlids  I see no real reason for  it.Peace,Tim

PS:Im only talking about CA's here.I would never
       put SA's(like Oscars)in brackish,let alone
       saltwater.I have NO idea about Aficans.   :wink:
 

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I've been to a lecture where the presenter explained a theory that the reason that New World cichlids are found in such varied places is their ability to handle salt for short periods of time. They apparently were able to move up the coast by swimming through the brackish areas. It had something to do with Gondwana and Panagea, but I don't have my notes in front of me. It's just a theory though. I don't use salt at all in my tanks, unless they have ich and I haven't had a case of ich in at least 5 or 6 years.
 

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In my opinion you can keep most cichlids in salty water, NOt in brakish but at about one table spoon of kosher or aquarium salt per 10gallons. My brakish tanks run at about 1.0007-1.0012 on specific gravity and I run my saltwater tanks at 1.0023. From what i have seen south american cichlids don't do well with any salt, most large central American cichlids do ok, Africans can handle more salt.
I have read something about an asian breeder that claims to have bloodparrots ( hybrid cichlids) in a reef tank. He has a secret tric to adapt them to full marine water. I have not tryed that , and don't know if its true or not. BUt sounds stupid.
 

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I have read something about an asian breeder that claims to have bloodparrots ( hybrid cichlids) in a reef tank. He has a secret tric to adapt them to full marine water.  I have not tryed that , and don't know if its true or not. BUt sounds stupid.
Best place for bloodparrots - they should all be dumped into reef tanks at birth! :evil:

Ken
 

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I finally found the salt thing that Mary Bailey posted on a mailing list I'm on.

FRESHwater cichlids do not normally live in SALT water, apart from a few species that are coastal in their distribution and sometimes enter brackish water.

The osmoregulatory system of a freshwater fish is not designed to deal with salt. Marinists do not dilute the salinity of their tanks from sea-normal, no more should we make our water semi-saline!

Salt has certain medicinal uses for freshwater fishes. Back in the bad old days when people knew little about water quality, and no test kits for nitrite, ammonia, nitrate were available, and partial water changes were a treat for the fish rather than regular maintenance, salt was the treatment of choice for the inevitable fungal and bacterial infections that cropped up regularly. Some aquarists started using salt as a prophylactic, again in ignorance of its possible harmful side-effects. And it got labelled "tonic salt". Knowledge has progressed, but aquarium salt is business for manufacturers and dealers, so we are still sold its possible benefits but not told that it is unnecessary and undesirable for routine use.

It does no increase hardness, it does not increase pH, it merely makes water salty.

MB
 

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There is a LOT of difference between salts in the African Rift Lakes and the salts in sea-water. Sea-water is most sodium salts and Rift Lakes water is mostly magnesium (and other mineral) salts, as far as I have always been led to believe.

Ken
 

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Here's a picture that a member of my forum posted. I have their permission to use the picture. It's a type of Tilapia that is clearly in a marine setting as seen by the coral it's near.
 

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From what I understand the bacteria that perform the nitrification cycle in freshwater are different that what are in sea or brackish water. If you add salt to a tank in a concentration approaching brackish it is risking wiping out the filtration.

Plain old aquarium salt should be used as a "Treatment" for ICK. Even then formalin + malachite green would probably work better, and you might be able to cure the fish with clean, stable water conditions without using anything.

The thing about using salt constantly in a freshwater tank, is if you should ever want to treat with salt the parasite will already be accustom or immune to it, so it will have no effect.

For a freshwater fish to live in a seawater environment it would have to be acclimatized very slowly (months) then there is no guarantee it will make it. In the wild the fish can acclimatize it'self so it's not an issue.

Salt (sodium chloride) does not exist in freshwater as when compared to sea water. A freshwater fish could never be healthier than what it would be in the wild, and adding salt to a freshwater aquarium is not going to make the fish any healthier.

Sorry folks :wink: However! That box of rocksalt you no longer have a use for will be quite excellent when it is used to coat both sides of a nice, thick, well oiled, porterhouse steak, and tossed on the hottest available fire. :fun:
 

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Hi all,

this fry from the picture was 1 month old when i acclimatized him.

the acclimatization period was one week. i acclimatized two more. The other are in a salt aquarium without any coral or fish.


All three are bigger then the other fry in freshwater. They are more colorful too.

They love to eat seaweed.

You can get more info about the expedition here -> http://fmbij2004.xpto.org/
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wow! I didn't know you could keep jewel cichlids (african fish) in a salt tank!
 

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"NO" salt in fresh water .... hhmmmm tell that to the folks living on the shores of tanganyika .. better yet the fish swimming in the waters. Heck tell that to most of the fish in the lakes in the mid west where the road crews routinely dump tons of sand rock and SALT on the roads that melts the ice that runs into the drains that empty into the streams that end up in the lakes and ... oh yea .. salt doesn't evaporate out either so over time more salt, magnesium, calcium, potassium, ect... build up in the "fresh" water as the case with the tang cichlids which have evolved to deal with the super hard water and higher concentration of salts and minerals in the water. (boy I'm bouncing all over the world ... :LOL:)

Reasearch is all that is required ... find out the origion of the fish species you are keeping or wanting to keep and reasearch the local water conditions for that area or particular lake, stream, river. Most fresh water has a ton of diffrent minerals and goodies in it thanks to "human intervention" so nature had had to adapt or perish. unless the fish live in a spring fed river or lake that has been naturly sand filtered through miles and miles of earth then there's always contaminates and "minerals" that were not in the master plan for fresh water. and even then the water takes on the mineral deposits of the earth it was filtered through so it's not "pure" thud the invention of the RO and RO/DI filtration which ... by the way if put straight into a tank used to fill it and add fish is VERY stressful for the fish as the fish is not "acclimated" to living in "pure" water :shock:

:mr green:
 

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at work we keep our salinity at 1.004-1.006 and we keep assorted african chiclids and they are fine
we use regular aquarium salt
I also used it at home and they were actually fine until I stopped using salt! I used salt in my tank with my blue rams also....

not saying its right or anything
 
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